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Leadership and Staff

Executive Staff

Head of Schools

Joseph Jackson


Joseph Jackson is a native of Des Moines, Iowa. He is a proud alumnus of Iowa State University, having graduated from the College of Design. Joseph's life is characterized by a deep passion for several key facets: truth, his faith in Jesus, evangelism, and his unwavering commitment to family. His journey through life has been marked by a relentless pursuit of truth in all its forms.

Mr. Jackson’s faith in Jesus Christ serves as the cornerstone of his existence, guiding his every step and inspiring him to share his convictions with others through evangelism. As a family of three, he cherishes every moment spent with his wife and their 2-year-old son. Jesus is the foundation of which family and friendships stand on, driving him to create a warm and nurturing environment for those he holds dear.

Prior to his current role at Joshua Christian Academy, Joseph's professional journey included diverse experiences. He worked with the Missouri State Teachers Association, where he contributed to the betterment of education and the teaching profession. His expertise also extends to the field of business marketing and web design, where he harnessed his creative talents to help businesses thrive in the digital age.

Mr. Jackson grew up in the same church JCA was born out of. His journey from Des Moines to his present role at Joshua Christian Academy is a testament to his diverse talents and his deep-rooted values.

Dean of Students – West

Coming Soon

Born in Kansas and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ms. Stovall graduated from Lincoln High School and attend the University of Northern Iowa where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Family Studies and a minor emphasis in vocal music. She and her husband, Damien have seven children. In October of 2015, she gave her initial sermon and became licensed for ministry.

“My calling and passion are to see people of all ages realize that God has an abundant life that He created for them to live if we are willing to trust Him!”

Dean of Students – South

Zach Mleko

Zach grew up in the snow playland of upper Michigan and spent a lot of time playing in the snow with his three siblings. Zach earned his B.S. in Biblical Studies at Moody Bible Institute and his M.A. in Christian Apologetics through Liberty University.

He has spent the bulk of his employment experience serving his country in the Active Duty Air Force where he performed in Security Forces and Human Resources for twenty years. During his time in the Air Force, Zach was deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by God's grace, made it home after serving with honor.
Zach was also blessed to teach fifth grade at a small Christian school in Texas, and most recently, enjoyed a year and a half at Fareway's meat market. Zach and his wife Jamie are blessed with seven children and one grandchild.

"It has been my desire to teach Bible for a long time, and I could not be more excited for the opportunity to instruct high school students at JCA and operate as Dean of Students at JCA South! With the Lord's empowering and guidance, I am confident that the team we build and mission we embark on together will continue to succeed, all to the glory of Christ!"

Dean of Students - Main

Breck Appell

Administrative Assistant

Sheryl Van Weelden

I graduated from Central College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. I began my teaching career at Stowe Elementary in East Des Moines. Next, I became a full-time mother to five and returned to teaching in 1982.

God called me to full-time ministry at Des Moines Christian School where I served as Director of Early Education for over 25 years. Upon retirement, I was drawn to the planning table for Joshua Christian Academy, where I have served in many capacities since the beginning.

“I am a child of God, a disciple of Christ, a mother of many, a grandmother to more, and a faithful servant in ministry. “

Business Manager

Tina Rains

Tina is from Prairie City, Iowa. She spent over 30 years in corporate America, mostly in the financial services arena.

While at Principal Financial Group, she managed a team responsible for sales compensation. She enjoyed talent development and helping others achieve their career goals.

Tina a wife to Mike; a mother to Joshua, Jacob and Lucas; and a mother-in-law to Takiesha and Arianne. Two of her sons currently serve in the Air Force, and a third son is a Navy veteran.

“Since inception, I’ve seen God’s hand in the mission at Joshua Christian Academy, and I’ve also come to admire the various servants that I have the privilege to work alongside.”

Front Office Specialist

Olivia Van Arkel

Olivia is from Oskaloosa, Iowa, and is the youngest of three girls. She received her degree from Des Moines Area Community College. Her experience includes working as an Administrative Assistant with State Farm and then as an insurance producer while attending school. Olivia is excited to be part of the JCA family, where she says, “There is something different every day, and I get to be part of an organization that is Christ-centered and is giving children a Christian education.”
Director of Advancement

Chris Hurley

Director of Athletics

Montez Rankins

Marketing and Development Specialist

Emily Hedgecock

Emily grew up in Des Moines and graduated from Drake University with a BSBA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. She comes to us by way of Syracuse, New York where she spent her first two years post-grad planting a church. Emily felt God's pull to return to Des Moines and continue doing the Lord's work when the opportunity opened to join the team at JCA. She has previously worked as a digital marketer and designer in a corporate office, as well as managed a local coffee shop. Additionally, Emily enjoys photographing weddings and families part-time.

"The authentic and genuine love for the Lord and his Great Commission is what struck me to be the most beautiful about Joshua Christian Academy. I feel privileged and honored to work alongside such dedicated educators who aspire to shape the spiritual lives of urban children right here in my hometown!"


Board of Directors
Howard Vroom – President

Larry Stelter – Vice President
Greg Smith – Treasurer
Samona Yates – Secretary
Chris Hurley
JB Johnson
Nichole Redd
Judson Vos
Marti Wojcik

Advisory Board
Ray Brown

Don Doudna
Phillip Ferguson
Trish McKinley
Thomas Phillips
Darlene Turner
Sherry Vanderploeg

Pastors Advisory Board
David Brown (Eagle Vision Church)

Pastor Jamel Crawford (New Life Center)
Pastor Michael Hurst (Hope + Elm)
Pastor Mario Lara (Iglesia de Cristo Puente de Vida)
Pastor Michael Mudlaff (Westkirk Presbyterian Church)
Reverend John Palmer, Sr. (Summitcreek Church)
Pastor George Shade (Amazing Grace Church)
Pastor Dale Terry
Reverend Jonathon Whitfield (Corinthian Baptist Church)
Reverend Keith Ratliff, Sr. (Maple Street Baptist Church)

Meet Our Teachers